MY JOB IS TO DAILY ENGAGE IN FAILURE…

July 23rd, 2017

Every morning as I sit down to this keyboard I remind myself of Walter Mosley’s revelation that:

Writing is a kind of guerilla warfare; there is no vacation, no leave, no relief. In actuality there is very little chance of victory.

Nick Laird, writing in My lists say things like 1. buy milk. 2. call Dad. 3. finish novel for The Guardian, echoes Mosley sentiment:

A writer’s life is a cycle of trying to get to their work, sitting staring at the blank screen, wandering off, steering their reluctant bodies back—or at least mine is. I imagine it’s quite something to hear a musician make music or watch an artist paint, but the writer practising their art is someone engaged in failure. Or mostly in failure. There are no hard and fast rules about writing but certain principles can be discerned.

Yes they can. Laird concludes:

Reading through this, I sound vaguely competent and productive. Well, I don’t feel like that. I feel like a mess. My lists are scattered round the flat and say things like—1. buy milk, 2. call Dad, 3. finish novel—so perhaps it is no wonder that I only ever get a few things checked off. This mess of life is something you just have to wade through: the art of life is in the writing, is in scraping pattern out of that chaos of daily circumstance, is in finding the right details to speak for the whole, and when that happens, when a kind of flow state emerges, and you’re completely lost in your work, there’s an immense happiness in getting it down right.

Yes.

One Response to “MY JOB IS TO DAILY ENGAGE IN FAILURE…”

  1. Jeff Hess says:

    I’ve long been a fan of environmental sounds while I write, but Laird introduced me to a concept I was not familiar with: Brown Noise. Brown in this case is short for Brownian Motion, which, in a really hot cup of tea, gave our galaxy the Infinite Improbability Drive.

    I also found, as is often the case when browsing YouTube, a page of of Rain Sounds.

    Enjoy.

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